BLOG: NFL Combine ain't football


So, my sister-in-law who knows nothing about sports (she still goes to baseball games and calls towering fly-balls: "high-balls"), well, she asked me: "why do they televise the NFL Combine?" 

That's easy. Why does any show stay on television? It's because we watch. There's an audience. In this case, we're talking an estimated 6 million viewers or so, making the NFL Combine one of the most-watched shows on cable.  

Thing is, even though the combine is designed for college prospects (not to mention personnel staff from all 32 teams and over 800 media members), it really says more about us. Most notably, it's testimony to our insatiable appetite for the NFL. 

Of course, watching a bunch of finely-tuned athletes doing drills in shorts and T-shirts is all good.  No worries, as long as we remember:  the combine is not football. Just because an athlete can dazzle in the cone drill or overpower the bench press does not mean he can play!

Just because you can type fast doesn't mean you have anything to say. A typer isn't a writer, if you will.  Just like a guy in the drills isn't a player. Not unless you see it on film first. 

So, when Hanrahan corners you around the water cooler and can't wait to impress with his knowledge of the measurables, simply counter with the following time in the 40-yard dash: 4.28. 

If memory serves, that's what former Cardinals running back Leeland McElroy posted before getting drafted by the Cards high atop the second round. 

One problem: McElroy wouldn't or couldn't take a hit. And that's a problem, because the NFL plays tackle football. 

If that doesn't work, simply share a quote with Hanrahan. As coaches like to say, there is no test to measure the two most important muscles in a player: the heart and the brain. 

Now, please pardon me while I fire up the 17 hours of combine coverage on my DVR.  

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